Saturday, July 24, 2010

Theorin wins CWA International Dagger!

A couple of hours ago (NZT), the winners of several of the CWA Daggers were announced at the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate, along with the finalists for the CWA Gold Dagger, the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, and the CWA John Creasy (New Blood) Dagger, the winners of which will be announced at the Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards 2010 later this year.

Here is the press release regarding the winners of the International, Gold (Non-Fiction), Short Story, and Debut Daggers, along with the Dagger in the Library. As a side note, it's a shame that New Zealander Bob Marriott didn't win the Debut Dagger this year, but as has been shown in the past (Louise Penny, Allan Guthrie etc), being shortlisted can be as good as winning, career-wise.


The Crime Writers’ Association tonight (Friday July 23) announced the winners of a number of this year’s Daggers - the prestigious awards that celebrate the very best in crime and thriller writing. The winners were announced during an event staged as part of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, Harrogate.

The CWA International Dagger for best translated crime novel went to Swedish writer Johan Theorin for The Darkest Room, translated by Marlaine Delargy (Doubleday). This is Theorin’s second Dagger triumph in as many years: last year he scooped the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger for best first novel.

Irish author Ruth Dudley-Edwards won the CWA Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction for Aftermath: the Omagh Bombing & the Families’ Pursuit of Justice (Harvill Secker). The judges described it as, ‘an outstandingly good book, vividly told by one of the campaigners.’

Other winners were Ariana Franklin, who won the CWA Dagger in the Library for her Mistress of the Art of Death series of medieval whodunits (Random House). The CWA Short Story Dagger went to "Can You Help Me Out There" by Robert Ferrigno from the anthology Thriller 2, edited by Clive Cussler (Mira). The CWA Debut Dagger, for an author who has not yet had a novel published commercially, was awarded to Patrick Eden for the opening to his atmospheric noir tale A Place of Dying.

The CWA Dagger Awards are the longest established literary awards in the UK and are internationally recognised as a mark of excellence and achievement.

CWA Chair Tom Harper said: “These Daggers recognise every aspect of crime writing, from books which don’t yet have publishers to authors who have already entertained millions. We had high quality shortlists again this year and the winners represent the very best in modern crime writing.”

The winners, presented here with the judges’ comments, are as follows:

For crime, thriller, suspense or spy fiction novels which have been translated into English from their original language, for UK publication between June 1 2009 and May 31 2010. Prize money £1000 for the author and £500 for the translator.

The Darkest Room Johan Theorin Tr. Marlaine Delargy (Doubleday).
Four plot strands whorl around the vortex of an unexplained death. It is impossible to reduce this mysterious novel to ghost story, a police procedural or a gothic tale.


Badfellas Tonino Benacquista Tr. Emily Read (Bitter Lemon Press).
August Heat Andrea Camilleri Tr. Stephen Sartarelli (Picador).
Hypothermia Arnaldur IndriĆ°ason Tr. Victoria Cribb (Harvill Secker).
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest Stieg Larsson Tr. Reg Keeland (MacLehose Press)
Thirteen Hours Deon Meyer, Tr K.L. Seegers (Hodder and Stoughton) - originally written in Afrikaans)

JudgesAnn Cleeves, non-voting chair, is an award-winning crime writer. Karen Meek is a library assistant and founder of the Euro Crime website: Ruth Morse teaches English Literature at the University of Paris. She is a frequent contributor to the Times Literary Supplement.John Murray-Browne is a bookseller.

Any non-fiction work on a real-life crime theme or a closely-related subject by an author of any nationality, as long as the book was first published in the UK in English between June 1, 2008 and May 31, 2010. Prize money £2000.

Winner: Aftermath: the Omagh Bombing & the Families’ Pursuit of Justice by Ruth Dudley Edwards (Harvill Secker)

Judges Comments: Outstandingly good book about the landmark case in which bomb victims' families' won a civil case against Irish terrorists (the first such action anywhere). Vividly told by one of the campaigners, an authoritative author who is a long term campaigner against terrorism.
Highly commended: The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston with Mario Spezi

David Cesarani: Major Farran’s Hat (Heinemann)
David R. Dow: Killing Time (Heinemann)
Jeff Guinn: Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie & Clyde (Simon & Schuster)
Alex McBride: Defending the Guilty (Penguin/Viking)

Brian Innes, Chairperson. Graduated in chemistry, and worked for some years in biochemical research. He is the author of over 40 books, mainly on criminal matters, and in 16 foreign languages.
Lesley Grant-Adamson. Lesley Grant-Adamson’s 20 books include crime novels, non-fiction crime, travel, and ‘Writing Crime and Suspense Fiction’. She writes short stories and poetry, teaches creative writing, and was Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at Cambridge.
Don Hale. In 2001 Don won an International Peace Prize, and was voted Journalist of the year. He was later made an OBE for campaigning journalism. His more recent books include the true story of the first Royal Detective – Don’s great grandfather.
Professor Allan Jamieson, Director of the Forensic Institute in Glasgow. Widely recognised as an expert in forensics science, he is also co-editor in chief of Wiley’s Encyclopedia of Forensic Sciences.
Helen Pepper. Helen’s first job was with the Forensic Science Service. She currently works as a senior lecturer in Police Studies at Teesside University.

CWA DAGGER IN THE LIBRARYSponsored by The Random House Group.
Nominated and judged by librarians and awarded to an author for a body of work, not one single title. Prize money £1,500. There is an additional prize of £300 to spend on books for the reading group who nominates the winner. Three reading groups nominated this year's winner, and therefore share the prize. They are:
Canterbury WI Pageturners - Canterbury, Kent
Henry Bloom Noble Library - Douglas, Isle of Man
Falkirk Library Book Group - Falkirk, Scotland

Ariana Franklin (Random House)
Wonderful cast of characters. Wears her research lightly and highlights new aspects of the era.
Highly commended: Simon Beckett (Bantam)

R J Ellory (Orion), Mo Hayder (Bantam), Denise Mina (Orion), Chris Simms (Orion)
JudgesJohn Martin is a veteran librarian in Leicestershire.
Helen McNabb is the stock manager for the Vale of Glamorgan libraries.
Cheney Gardner is the Reader and Community Services Manager at the London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames.
Karen Fraser is Customer Service Librarian with Shetland Library, Britain's most northerly library service.
Mark Benjamin (Chair) Worked as a Team Librarian with Northumberland libraries from 1980 until 2009 and is now a freelance online bookseller.
Viki Lagus is developing the library community in South Tyneside.
Deborah Ryan works at RNIB's National Library Service where she manages a team who help blind and partially sighted readers to get the best out of the meagre 5% of books published in accessible formats.
Any crime short story first published in the UK in English in a publication that pays for contributions, or broadcast in the UK in return for payment, between 1st June, 2009 and 31st May, 2010. Prize money £500.

"Can You Help Me Out There" by Robert Ferrigno from Thriller 2 edited by Clive Cussler (Mira)
In "Can You Help Me Out There", Robert Ferrigno has showcased an ability to mix humour with suspense along with having a knack for creating villains that make you smile even as they send chills down your spine.

Highly commended:
"The Weapon" by Jeffery Deaver from Thriller 2 edited by Clive Cussler (Mira)

Shortlist"A Calculated Risk" by Sean Chercover from Thriller 2 edited by Clive Cussler (Mira)
"Boldt's Broken Angel" by Ridley Pearson from Thriller 2 edited by Clive Cussler (Mira)
"Like a Virgin" by Peter Robinson from The Price of Love (Hodder and Stoughton)
"Killing Time" by Jon Land from Thriller 2 edited by Clive Cussler (Mira)
"Protecting the Innocent" by Simon Wood from Thriller 2 edited by Clive Cussler (Mira)

JudgesAyo Onatade, Chairperson, writes for a number of crime fiction websites including, Mystery Women and Crimespree Magazine. Simon Brett is the author of more than eighty books, many of which are crime novels, including the Charles Paris, Mrs Pargeter, Fethering and Blotto and Twinks series. He is also President of the Detection Club.
Adrian Magson is a freelance writer, crime author and reviewer, with more than 300 short stories published in magazines and anthologies in the UK and overseas.

Sponsored by Orion
The Debut Dagger is a new-writing competition open to anyone writing in the English language who has not yet had a novel published commercially. First prize is £500 plus two free tickets to the prestigious CWA Dagger Awards and a night’s stay for two in a top hotel. All shortlisted entrants receive a generous selection of crime novels and professional assessments of their entries, and have also been invited to the Dagger Awards presentations.

A Place of Dying Patrick Eden (UK)
In small town America a boy’s murder rips away the mask of civilised behaviour revealing prejudice and simmering hate. Compelling and emotive with strong characterisation.

Highly CommendedCase No 1 Sandra Graham (Australia)

ShortlistAll the Precious Things Jan Napiorkowski (UK)
A Murder in Mumbles Rick DeMille (USA)
Chinese Whispers Alan Carter (Australia)
In the Lion’s Throat Bob Marriott (New Zealand)
Legacy Rebecca Brodie (UK)
Lockdown Danielle Ramsay (UK)
Pretty Preeti Stephanie Light (India)
Safe Harbour Rosemary McCracken (Canada)
The Beggar’s Opera Peggy Blair (Canada)
The Chameleon Factor Kathleen Stewart (Australia)

JudgesStefanie Bierwerth – Editorial Director, Michael Joseph
Angus Cargill – Fiction Editor, Faber and Faber
Tom Harper – Chairman, Crime Writers’ Association
Kate Parkin – John Murray (Publishers)
Genevieve Pegg – Senior Commissioning Editor, Orion Publishing
Gordon Wise – Literary agent, Curtis Brown

For press enquiries or more information on the CWA, please visit the website,, or contact John Dean at or Michael Stotter on
So, what do you think of the winners?

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